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Br J Nutr. 2016 Feb 28;115(4):737-50. doi: 10.1017/S0007114515005000. Epub 2016 Jan 20.

Dairy consumption and CVD: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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1EpidStat Institute,2100 Commonwealth Blvd,Suite 203,Ann Arbor,MI 48105USA.
3Exponent Inc.,Health Sciences,Bellevue, WA,USA.
5EpidStat Institute,Johns Hopkins Campus,9601 Medical Center Drive,Rockville,MD 20850,USA.
4EpidStat Institute,149 Commonwealth Drive,Menlo Park,CA 94025,USA.


Inverse associations between dairy consumption and CVD have been reported in several epidemiological studies. Our objective was to conduct a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies of dairy intake and CVD. A comprehensive literature search was conducted to identify studies that reported risk estimates for total dairy intake, individual dairy products, low/full-fat dairy intake, Ca from dairy sources and CVD, CHD and stroke. Random-effects meta-analyses were used to generate summary relative risk estimates (SRRE) for high v. low intake and stratified intake dose-response analyses. Additional dose-response analyses were performed. Heterogeneity was examined in sub-group and sensitivity analyses. In total, thirty-one unique cohort studies were identified and included in the meta-analysis. Several statistically significant SRRE below 1.0 were observed, namely for total dairy intake and stroke (SRRE=0·91; 95% CI 0·83, 0·99), cheese intake and CHD (SRRE=0·82; 95% CI 0·72, 0·93) and stroke (SRRE=0·87; 95% CI 0·77, 0·99), and Ca from dairy sources and stroke (SRRE=0·69; 95% CI 0·60, 0·81). However, there was little evidence for inverse dose-response relationships between the dairy variables and CHD and stroke after adjusting for within-study covariance. The results of this meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies have shown that dairy consumption may be associated with reduced risks of CVD, although additional data are needed to more comprehensively examine potential dose-response patterns.


CHD; CVD; Dairy products; Epidemiology; GLST generalised least-squares trend; ICD International Classification of Diseases; Meta-analyses; Milk; RR relative risk; SRRE summary relative risk estimate; Stroke

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